Body & Mind
World Mental Health Day celebrated at Clinical Psychology dept, University of Dhaka
World Mental Health Day is globally celebrated on October 10. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health. The theme of Mental Health Day 2018 is "Young people and mental health in a changing world." The department of Clinical Psychology of The University of Dhaka has celebrated the day in association with Bangladesh Clinical Society, National Trauma Counseling Centre and the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs with a 3-day seminar entitled "World Mental Health Day 2018" from October 09-10 and 13 at TSC premises.
On the first day, the core discussions were on safeguarding mental health in humanitarian disaster, parenting skill training, anger and anxiety management, skills development, six workshops on dealing with mental pressure. Hundreds of people attended the seminar sessions with enthusiasm. Apart from this, in the open discussion of 20 workshops on different mental disorders, participation of the mass people is noteworthy.
On the second day on October 10, Meher Afroz Chumki, state minster for the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs inaugurated the seminar with releasing balloons. She visited the awareness programme related stalls and asked about the initiatives to solve the problems. In this seminar, the state minister emphasizes on requiting psychologist in different sectors. To ensure the service, she has recommended diploma course on psycho-social support. The state minister also emphasizes, to achieve this goal; clinical psychologists can play an important role. She also says we need psychiatrist, clinical psychologist, educational psychologist, counselor, and psychiatric nurse in multiple sectors.
Nasima Begum, NDC, secretary to the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs was also present there as the special guest. She has assured of passing the Clinical Psychology Act soon. Dr Abul Hossain, project director of Multi-Sectoral Programme, has given his welcome speech. He talked about the lack of the number of Clinical Psychologists compared to the demands in the country.
Md Jahir Uddin, general secretary to Bangladesh Clinical Psychology Society has presented the main paper of the seminar. Dr Mohammad Kamruzzaman, chairperson of Clinical Psychology department, University of Dhaka has also shared his valuable remarks. The seminar was presided over by Professor Dr Muhammad Mahmudur Rahman, president, Bangladesh Clinical Psychology Society.
Session on "Sustainable psychological support for displaced Rohingya in crisis" took place at 12:00 pm on the same day. Prof Dr Nasreen Ahmad, pro vice chancellor (academic), Dhaka University was the chief guest in the session. She said the clinical psychologists are playing vital role in providing the distressed Rohingyas with mental health support. The speakers presented different sustainable developmental plans for Rohigya population. Beatriz Ochoa, humanitarian advocacy manager, Save the Children, Mohamed Elshazly, UNHCR Bangladesh, and Ogla Rebolledo, MHPSS project officer, IOM were also present there. They suggest that most of this vulnerable population need psychological first aid and specialized support. This support is not only for Rohingya population but also for local people in that area. We need to integrate other support systems such as life, food, sanitation, health services, shelter and definitely mental health support. They emphasized integration of national and international support.
On the third day, the session on "The development of mental health in Bangladesh" was inaugurated at 3:00 pm. On this day, university and college teachers, NGO officials were present. Multi disciplinary professional were also present to share their opinion. All of them presented their ideas and demonstrated the need of mental health professionals.
Many psychologists from different organizations presented their speech. Associate Professor Md Shahanoor Hossain, department of Clinical Psychology said, "In our country, at present, more than 6 crore people need mental health support. For that, we need more than 15 thousand trained psychologists which is a large amount and difficult to attain in 20 years from now. The universities should take initiatives to create more psychologists."
People from all walks of life have participated in the seminar. They have expressed their satisfaction for arranging such programmes. On the third day, five sessions on mindfulness, autism, family therapy, neuropsychology, and controlling addiction was held.